All animals in a litter will naturally vary slightly in size and weight, but the smallest is not considered a dwarf if they are healthy and have a similar weight to their littermates. You may be perfectly capable of competing with your siblings for nutrition and other resources. Litters usually have only one dwarf, although not all litters have dwarfs. In the wild, dwarves are sometimes rejected, since their chances of survival are almost nil.
Not all litters have dwarfs, says Julie Meadows, a veterinarian at UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary University Hospital. However, when they have dwarfs, there is never more than one. This applies to litters of kittens and puppies.
The concept of several dwarfs per litter is essentially non-existent. Dwarves will not always be present in a litter. Even if a litter has dogs of different sizes, the smaller one does not necessarily turn into a dwarf. Even if it is smaller, it can be as healthy and strong as the rest of the litter.
Choosing the youngest in the litter as a new family member can bring some additional problems, but don't assume that will be the case. Mixing a 60-pound Labrador with a 15-pound miniature poodle is sure to result in a litter full of puppies of different sizes. I specifically ordered a male dwarf from the litter and at eight weeks of age I brought home a male dwarf and the smallest female from a litter of 12 young. The smallest in a litter is usually the smallest puppy, significantly underweight, unable to breastfeed, weak or undeveloped, so you need to step in to provide the care it needs, at a lower price.
Any litter of animals is likely to have some size variations, especially if one parent is significantly larger or smaller. Neonatal mortality in puppies ranges from 12% to 36%, so human intervention can keep the puppy dry if the condition is detected early. At the other end of the spectrum, some VERY irresponsible puppy breeders and farms are very interested in selling underweight, malnourished dwarf puppies. Make sure that the room your puppies are staying in is kept warm (86-89°F) and that older siblings don't keep the dwarf puppy away from their mother.
Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate weight gain you can expect for your dog's breed and monitor all puppies for signs of malnutrition. It is estimated that around one in fifty puppies are stillborn or die in the first six weeks of life because they are too small. Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate weight gain expected of your dog breed and check all puppies for signs of malnutrition. You can expect dwarf puppies to have the most common personality traits of their breeds, but the owner will determine your pup's overall personality development and its changes over time.
A study found that puppies with lower birth weight during the first week of life were more likely to die during that time compared to their older siblings. Usually, these puppies are much more likely to have health problems than their littermates, some of which may not be obvious. Unlike “litter selection”, the healthiest and strongest puppy in the litter, a dwarf litter puppy is the smallest puppy in the litter.